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Watch Dogs Legion review: Ain’t technology grand?

Written by Culture, Gaming, Gaming Reviews

While it is still early days in my time in the world of Watch Dogs: Legion, the sheer detail and size of near-future London has left me astounded. From scaling rooftops to searching the streets for new, fresh-faced recruits, the game gives you the open freedom to treat the world as your own technological playground. Do you want that shiny new mask that is staring at you from the rooftops above? Hack a nearby cargo drone and soar over the heights of London to grab it. What about the sorely needed tech points that are hidden within the complex vent systems of a nearby building? Deploy your agile spider-bot to navigate them and reach your goal. Watch Dogs: Legion truly supplies you with so many interesting ways to play through the game numerous times – multiple playthroughs will not only be completely refreshing but also brand spanking new every single time you reload.

What makes this game truly special and refreshing, however, is the ingenious system that Ubisoft has put into place for the recruitment of your characters. This fabled system, ever since it was first revealed at E3 2019, has been the topic of tumultuous debate. Ubisoft claimed that they had designed a system that would allow the player to pick and choose their protagonists from any character that they see in the game. From a taser wielding ‘gangster granny’ to a ‘gun-toting hacktivist’, the game was said to have endless narrative possibilities for the player to explore and experience. 

This makes the world a living and breathing environment, continually in flux throughout your playthrough.

Yet how could a linear narrative, single-player game be successful if it does not have a single lead character to push the story along? With the game’s predecessors featuring protagonists like the brooding Aiden Pearce and the comedic Marcus Holloway, Watch Dogs: Legion had big boots to fill with its procedurally generated characters. However, Ubisoft seems to have hit the nail right on the head with this installment of the Watch Dogs series.

Credit: IGDB, Ubisoft Toronto

The neo-futuristic set of London never seems to become old or stale as characters constantly move around the city and live out their own lives independent of the player. Each character has its own personality, wants, interests and social circles. If a character’s timetable states they will be protesting against animal abuse at Westminster Abbey then they will certainly be there with sign in hand and, if you help them with their issues in life, they will certainly join your cause and fight for you. But if you hit their husband with a car, they will hold a grudge against you and make you work harder to recruit them, or just outright refuse to join you and you lose them forever. This makes the world a living and breathing environment continually in flux throughout your playthrough.

Ubisoft Toronto has truly stepped up open-world gaming with its new addition to the genre, leaving many people wondering what could be next for the franchise.

Featured Image: [IGDB]

Last modified: 12th November 2020

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